Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to Succeed (Period)

Do all of you wondrous individuals out there recall that I do in fact play the oboe? It was my first post on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
where I first mentioned it, if anybody will remember that long fact, I really don't recall the post that well. Days fly by in the same way as these fickle years that compose our lives. Before we know it, the last day will be upon us and all that we know will be stolen by the angelic robber of time, the same force simultaneously pushing us into whatever afterlife we have come to deserve. This must be quite like what Mr. Louis Zamperini felt when his air force plane, The Green Hornet, was plunging into the open Pacific during a second revival of classical idealism (WWII).
     The nonfictional Unbroken features seasoned author Laura Hillenbrand recounting the story of Zamperini, a superb runner who decided to join the U.S. military when Tokyo's 1940 Olympics were canceled. Louis broke a national high school track record and was the top American finisher in the 5000-meter race at Berlin, the site of the 1936 Olympics. The athlete was just reaching the peak of his career when on came the eruption of World War II. As I do whenever my teachers move the days of tests that I have oh-so-intensely studied for, Zamperini was immediately depressed with his lost shot at worldwide glory. He confronted this melancholy with his eventual joining of the United States Air Force a little while later. There, he was assigned to a crew that included pilot Russel Allen Phillips and placed into   a trustworthy plane called Super Man. Super Man and all of Zamperini's original crew mates survived the missions so bluntly handed to them by the superiors of the United States Air Force, at some occurrences on the count of sheer fortune. The plane met its end, however, on a raid over the Japanese Base Naruwu (I hope I spelled that right)  Louis and Phillips (or Phil, as he was called) had to leave the piece of machinery and the several crewmen who had been hurt in the riveting air-battle with Japanese planes that had ruined it. On a rescue mission, within a hazardous plane titled The Green Hornet, came to be where the pair was finally conquered by the perils of Pacific War. The insubstantial flying machine crashed on May 27, 1943 due to a technical malfunction that left all crew members deceased save for Zamperini, Phil, and an engineer nicknamed Mack. The raft they were forced to live on for weeks afterwards drifted two-thousand miles across the Pacific. When the journey ended, only two men were left on it.
     So now, you probably have two questions for me-
  1. Who were those two people? And...
  2. Why the hell did I incorporate that thing about the oboe at the onset of this post? Well...
A few weeks ago, I partook in a huge musical competition with my school band, one in which I was lucky enough to be a featured soloist. I had been practicing this solo for quite some time to insure its impeccable delivery at the festival, but I still had doubts about my potential to fulfill these naturally high expectations. Music has always been a wondrous outlet for my fervent OCD since it is an art form that can only be really appreciated once. There are no other chances once the conductor's baton dives on its first swoop of precision at that last concert of the season-if you have talent and the will to utilize it for the entire band's benefit (or for your personal ascension if the music in question is purely a solo piece), the one and only time to convey is then. Period.
     But that morning of the competition, I knew that meticulous pressure and will to succeed would be  present especially for the day ahead. No tremens would steal the dexterity of my fingers, no meekness the valor of my harmonial sanguiety, none at all. Each ray of cherished sunlight cradled my face because I was indeed living; I was in no mood to escape from life.The words "Carpe Diem" penned their way onto my left hand, and instantaneously the seizability of that day became cemented in the very concrete that this world I walked on was painstakingly forged of.
     I was there on stage. Beat changes, low back-tone of the bass clarinet saturates my apprehensive ears, the baton permits my escape from her encompassing grasp...
     And myself was suddenly an aspect of the entire world around me. Just the whole earth revolving around my music as the notes escaped from its magnificent grasp. People lived as they always did, and the trends of their lives conformed to the same senseless meanderings, but I was suddenly an aspect of it, breaking some species of chain. A chain that kills with its deafening din. Who it strangled, I still cannot say.
     The solo was over. The world keeps turning, and my presence is again in exile.
     God knows I'll fight my way back.*
     Louie Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips transcended the limits of human survival in a similar manner. They each had a robust belief in the deepest calibers of their souls that there was indeed some unseen path by which they would escape the cramped raft that contained them day by day in the desperately open sea. The two quizzed each other on aspects of their previous lives, entertained themselves with descriptions of delectable sustenance for the satisfaction of their neglected appetites, and always found an avenue whose end possessed hope. More than forty days passed with the two conquistadors of humane limitations alive and well at some unimaginable crevice of the Pacific. Mac, despite his occasional participation in Louie and Phil's testaments to survival, was never able to curb the thought that his death on that raft was utterly certain. He consumed all of the castaways' food within a disheveled panic of one night, and afterwards waned into a malnourished wallflower. The engineer's remains were thrown into the sea after his death.
     Considering all of this, I desire all of you to know that one can deposit his entire life into attempts at success and never succeed because of an absolutely stupid reason. A reason whose simplicity has contributed to only a certain type of person being present in contemporary show business, of all things...
     The wrong mindset.
     Find the main phenomenon in your life that inhibits you from achieving your foremost goal.This is your brick wall, your mammoth castle whose walls will eventually yearn to be emaciated by your cannons. Take that phenomenon-you have it now, right?-and identify the thought that would utterly negate it. When you have that thought, and only when you possess that thought in its utmost sincerity, ingrain the notion within your brain in a way that makes its eradication at the hands of doubt or fear to succeed infeasible. Convince yourself that this thought is the world, and that any straying from it will culminate in your end (a statement which, now that I think deeper, is actually valid.)
    That thought will then be present in your mind the next time  you attempt to achieve your ambitions. Under this new guidance, watch them become a reality.

*Hold me to it.


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